Love and Intimacy are two of the most powerful healing forces in our lives, yet regularly get deleted from the conversations on health and healing. That’s because it takes skill and a lot self-awareness to do these conversations justice.
Whether or not you feel connected to your sexuality, it’s central to who you are as a human being. We all got here because someone had sex. The plants and animals are having it too. Right? It’s time we normalize our lives, making it okay for us to be sexual beings. Life flows best when we’re connected to the core of who we are.
What’s love got to do with it? One belief held at the Somatic Center, is that more than anything else, we want to love and be loved. While sex can be seen as strictly biological, ultimately, it’s not the way we’re wired. The heart is either involved, or ‘offline’, but always present.
When we consciously choose skillful, non-judgmental, loving practices for being present to the fullness of our lives, including our sexuality, its possible to heal the wounds of intimacy. And so too, we’re called more deeply into the joy of the lives we’re meant to live.
In the western world, there’s a surge of interest in body-awareness practices like yoga, mindfulness, bodywork, somatic experiencing and tantra. This surge is fueled by a deep hunger for balance and connection. These practices offer ways to help us re-kindle the connection to our bodies that gets lost in in our modern, fast-paced, ideas-oriented world.
In addition to our very smart minds, we are also born with an exquisite capacity to sense the world around us through every part of our being, including our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin, joints, bones, gut, loins and heart. This ‘felt sense’, or whole-body perception, is crucial for our well being. It helps us know who’s friend or foe, what’s good for us or not, and what guides our unique journey through life. In fact, an authentic, passionate life cannot be lived without it.
Unfortunately, Western culture systematically trains us out of being body-connected. It places a higher value on what we think, rather than what we feel or sense, leaving many of us lost, in pain, or in unhealthy relationships. The good news? We can re-learn body-awareness and heal the disconnections in our lives.
Sexuality and Trauma
We all carry wounds around sexuality, even if you consider yourself a sexual virtuoso. But not everyone is called to heal. It usually means breaking through a huge wall of shame. Just know, it’s not your shame. As westerners, we have a huge cultural shadow around pleasure. Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to talk about pain, than pleasure?
Trauma around sexuality is not just about sexual violation, though this is truly traumatic, ubiquitous and a major source of sexual trauma. In order to fully understand the issue, try substituting the word ‘disconnection’ for ‘trauma’. Have you ever felt disconnected from your body? Your passion? Your creativity or purpose? Have you ever had ongoing disdain for your body? Felt numb or disconnected from the present moment? Have you ever found that anger and sex go hand in hand? Experienced what our culture might call ‘sexual dysfunction’? Felt triggered by your partner’s desire or attention, etc.? If so, you’re not alone. These are some of the ways our cultural ‘trauma-load’ shows up in the bedroom.
Why? Because when we engage sexually, our whole history comes with us, whether we know about it or not. The good news? These wounds can be healed, whether you’re in relationship or not.
Tantra in the U.S. has become a counter-cultural buzz-word for a collection of esoteric practices that promise ‘enlightened-lover’ status. As sex goes, it sells. But truth be told, Tantra is so much more.
As a 5,000 year old earth-based cosmology from the East, Himalayan Tantra (HT) is considered to be a ‘science of transformation’. By not excluding sexuality, it offers a particularly potent window on healing and wholeness that’s worth scrutiny, even for the shy or squeamish.
Basic principles offer guidance for whole new ways of being, that honor the wisdom of the body, intuition and soul, while healing the wounds of disconnection.
Himalayan Tantra, as an Eastern tradition, can be seen as a parallel map to the newest, Western, body-awareness approaches to healing. It’s no coincidence that Yoga (originally a trantric practice and core to HT) and Somatic Experiencing are coming into the limelight, as body-awareness approaches to healing trauma.
Join ‘Tantric Ground: Northampton‘ for the latest of my Tantra trainings, events and offerings.
(This is a Meet Up group. You’ll need to first join MeetUp.com, make a profile, then you’ll be able to join using the button below.)